Variety the children’s charity is privileged to benefit from the extraordinary dedication, experience and abilities of our volunteer board of directors.
Peter Hebbes AM: Chairman/Chief Barker
Peter has been an active member of Variety NSW since 1987 and in 2003 was awarded a Lifetime Membership. In the past Peter has chaired a number of events, organising and management Committees, in 1990 he was elected Chairman of Variety NSW, and in 2000/2001 he was appointed as Chief Barker of Variety NSW. Peter has also served as the NSW Motoring Events Chairman for 15 years and the National Chair for two years. In 2012, Peter was again elected as the Chief Barker of Variety NSW and also appointed to the National Board “Variety Australia”, a position he currently holds.
By profession, Peter has his own Music Publishing Company and acts as a Consultant and Music Business Manager to the Theatrical, Film, Television and Music industry. In addition, Peter is on the Music Industry Boards of the Australasian Music Publishers Association Ltd. (AMPAL), the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS), and he is also a Trustee of The Golden Stave Foundation and a past Director of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Association of Australia. In 2006, Peter was awarded The Order of Australia (AM) for his services to the community as a fundraiser, particularly on behalf of the Golden Stave Foundation, Variety NSW, the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Association of Australia and the Music Industry.
Paul Mullaly: Deputy Chairman
For more than 20 years, Paul has actively supported Variety NSW in numerous ways, including as a Member of the Sunshine Coach Committee for over 10 years, moving up to Chairman of the Committee in January 2010, attending eighteen NSW Bashes, fifteen of these as an official, leading the Bash Air Board, and providing his company aircraft for use during the Bash at no cost to Variety NSW. Paul has also been an entrant in five Newcastle Splashes, attended three Variety International Conventions, where, with other members of his family, was awarded an International Presidential Citation for their support of Variety. Paul has volunteered at the annual Variety Children’s Christmas Party for more than ten years, and attended numerous Variety NSW functions including the Heart Awards, dinners, events and fundraisers.
Presently, Paul manages his family’s construction business and has recently completed a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management. Paul was appointed to the Variety NSW Board on 2 December 2009.
Amanda Mead: Director
Amanda has been an active Variety NSW Board Member for eight years. She has worked in various Variety committees, including the Planned Giving/New Revenue, Giving Day Grants Committee and the Variety International Marketing Forum. Amanda is currently Chair of the General Appeals Committee.
Amanda is currently a PhD student at Macquarie Graduate School of Management, researching corporate culture and the roles, effectiveness and emotional management of participants in change meetings.
Amanda brings to Variety NSW expertise from over 10 years commercial experience in senior marketing and strategic planning roles. She consults in strategic management, consumer marketing and branding.
Bernt Schindler: Director
Bernt has been involved in Variety NSW for over five years, initially getting involved in the Young Variety Committee. In the last 2 years, he has taken on the role of Young Variety Chairperson, transforming the Committee to maintain an active role in fundraising and increasing exposure in the younger generations. He has produced record fundraising through Young Variety events and built a sustainability platform for Variety NSW in the future.
During his career, Bernt has held varied roles in sales, marketing, management and recruitment. He is currently the General Manager of a leading Human Resources Consulting Firm. Bernt has been a director since 2010 and still sits as chair of the Young Variety Committee. He is also involved in the Santa Fun Run event and sits on the Executive Committee. He is determined to create sustainability for Variety NSW and sees this as being an important step in the success of the charity.
Susan Warda: Director
Susan became a solicitor in 1993 and has extensive experience in the practice of Family Law. She is an accredited specialist who joined Coleman Greig in 2000, became an Associate with the firm in 2006 and a Principal in 2007.
Susan has been involved in cases dealing with all aspects of family law. These include complex financial matters, Hague Convention Applications, the separate representation of children, matters concerning parenting arrangements, child support matters and de facto relationship cases.
Susan has completed training in mediation and collaborative family law which enables her to assist clients to resolve their disputes without having to be involved in costly and time consuming litigation. Susan’s commitment to providing clients with an alternative to court-based separation has seen her become a founding member of Western Sydney Collaborative Family Lawyers, a network of respected legal professionals with expertise in the non-court based approach. This approach is particularly beneficial to separating couples who may have complex financial issues and are looking for both speed and privacy during the separation process.
Susan’s active role on the Executive Committee of Austlaw, an association of independent law firms located throughout NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT, has now led to her appointment as Chairperson of the network.
Susan Bannigan B.Econ ACA: Director
Susan has over 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry in Europe and Australia. Susan joined Westpac in 1995 and has worked in senior finance, treasury and business roles across the Westpac Group.
Most recently, Susan was the Chief Operating Officer of RAMS Financial Group Pty Ltd with responsibility for the IT, finance, legal and compliance functions.
Susan became Executive Officer of the Westpac Foundation in February 2012. Prior to Westpac, Susan spent 3 years in investment banking roles in London and 5 years as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in Australia, Solomon Islands and Paris.
Gordon Cooper AM : Treasurer and Company Secretary
Gordon Cooper is a chartered accountant in sole practice as a tax consultant. That is why his Bash car is called Taxheads! Having discovered the Bash (and Variety) only late in life he is trying to make up for lost time. Gordon is also a Visiting Professional Fellow at the Australian School of Taxation, University of New South Wales. In June 2003, Gordon was awarded the AM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Gordon has a long list of professional involvements including:
- Former President of the Taxation Institute of Australia
- Chairman of the Committee of the Australian branch of the International Fiscal Association.
- Patron of the Australasian Tax Practitioners Board
- Chairman of the Australasian Branch of the UK Chartered Institute of Taxation
However if he is known to you, then it is likely to be as a man of weakness for:
- Wine – whether red, white or rose
- Boutique beers
- Classic cars
Brian Hoare: Director
Brian has over forty years’ experience in the corporate sector working in manufacturing, engineering, sales, customer service, rental, human resources, corporate, legal and finance. Brian is currently a Non-Executive Director of Crown Equipment, which has a turnover of five hundred million dollars and one thousand employees, is on the board of Adele House which operates three Drug and Alcohol Centres in New South Wales and is on two Strata committees. Brian has fellow status to the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Brian has had experience in not for profit organisations, as he was the Chairperson at Interaction, which is located in the Baulkham Hills area and that supported intellectually challenged adults. This organisation had forty staff, one hundred clients and managed twelve residential houses. Brian has been involved with Variety NSW since 1988, firstly as a Basher (inducted into the Bash Hall of Fame 2009), as an entrant in several 4X4 Challenge events, a Newcastle Bash entrant, a regular supporter of Variety NSW fundraising functions, a Variety NSW volunteer at the Children’s Christmas Party, and elected to the Board in 2011 . Brian is very keen to continue as a Member of the Board and currently is the Chairman for Motoring Events in NSW for Variety. Brian has been married for 44 years to Sue and they have two children and five grandsons.
Dr. Greg Levenston: Director
Greg was born in the UK but has lived in Australia since 1957. He has been the Medical Director at Bronte Medical Centre for 30 years and has two daughters, Harriet 24 and Sybilla 22 and a partner, Judith Morrice.
Greg has been a Mason for 20 years with roles within the organisation including Immediate Past Grand Master, Freemasonry NSW/ACT and Spokesman for Australian Freemasonry.
Greg’s skills include:
- Medical Practitioner
- Strong administrative background including leading Freemasonry in NSW, especially through the Grand Charity
- Personable, a “people” person
- Strong family background
- Ethical position on issues of importance
- Proven ability to make a positive social contribution, and a difference for those in need
Duncan Ross: Director
Duncan has been involved with Variety NSW for over 15 years as a volunteer fundraiser, Bash entrant and Board Member. He has worked on the Radiothon committee, Chaired the New Revenue Committee and been active in many other Variety NSW activities and events.
Duncan has extensive community involvement including school music programs, scouting, youth sports coaching and a number of P&C roles over the term of his children’s schooling careers.
Professionally, Duncan works in investment banking and management consulting, primarily in technology, music and media fields. His background includes an entrepreneurial career across a wide range of sectors from the financial markets to telecommunications.
Duncan lives on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with his wife Sally. They have two boys, Logan (26) and James (24). Duncan’s interests include boating, cars, adventure motorcycling, soccer, wakeboarding and music.
Mahesh Hettiaratchi: Director
Mahesh is a Chartered Accountant specialising in corporate and international taxation. He currently works as the International Tax Manager at a multinational Engineering Consultancy group, with operations across the Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to this, he spent 10 years at a big-4 professional services firm largely in Management and Senior Management roles in their taxation division in Perth, Sydney and New York. Mahesh holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia and is currently completing a Masters of International Taxation at the University of New South Wales.
Mahesh is a keen contributor to the community and not for profit sector, having volunteered his time and skills in the capacity of Board Member with the University of Western Australia’s Convocation Council, and Chair of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Young Professionals Committee. Prior to joining the board of Variety NSW, Mahesh was a member of the Finance Committee of Variety WA. In his spare time, he enjoys a good book with a glass of red wine and travelling - having lived/worked in Germany, Sri Lanka, Ghana and the United States.
Ian Grambower: Director
Ian brings a wealth of business knowledge as well as passion, energy and positivity to everything he does. He has almost 20 years’ sales, marketing and general management experience in the Building and Construction industry. He has held National and State General Management positions with MONIERPRIME™, CSR Building Products, PGH Bricks, Monier Roofing and Gyprock Plasterboard. Ian is currently the General Manager of Metroll, one of Australia’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of roofing, cladding, rainwater goods, fencing and structural steel products.
Ian is a leader who enjoys the challenge of determining the vision and goals, setting the direction, making sure he has the right people in place, and delivering results. Central to his success to date has been setting very high (and visible) standards for himself and his teams, remembering the importance of the customer, the power of relationships and the value of teamwork.
Through his working career Ian has spent time living and working in Sydney, Perth, Auckland and Brisbane. Currently a resident of Sydney, he grew up in country Queensland and although he has not lived there for many years, part of him will always call this ‘home’.
Ian is married with three young children.
Henry Eggers: Director
Henry has been the CEO of Stillwell Trucks, Milperra since 1991, and is currently a Director of four other companies within the Adtrans Group, responsible for all Adtrans Truck Dealerships in New South Wales. Henry has also held Senior Executive positions with Mercedes Benz Australia Pacific and Volvo Commercial Vehicles within his career.
Henry has been a long time supporter of Variety NSW events and has specifically helped manage logistics on Variety’s annual Bashes over recent years. Henry is looking to utilise his wealth of commercial vehicle marketing and public relations skills he has developed over his career to help special needs children.
John Dennis: Director
John has been a Member of Variety NSW for 6 years, helping raise over $250,000 for Variety NSW in that time. John holds Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance) and Master of Commerce (Finance) degrees from the University of New South Wales. In 1984, he established the Australian Structured Finance Group (www.structuredfinance.com.au), a leading “large ticket” equipment finance business. As Managing Director and ultimate owner of ASF’s nine operating companies for the last 28 years, John’s experience extends to all aspects of business management and compliance.
In 2003, John was elected to the Governing Council of the Australian Equipment Lessors Association (www.aela.asn.au), becoming Deputy Chairman in 2006/07 and Chairman in 2007/08. AELA is the national association for the Equipment Leasing and Financing industry. AELA’s members encompass more than 90 percent of equipment finance activity in Australia, valued at approximately $40 billion annually.
John offers strong fundraising experience – both at micro and macro level; he has sound financial management and compliance skills; he has long term experience at Committee/ Board/Council level within charitable foundations and industry lobby groups (both highly politicised environments) and has a strong affinity with Variety NSW and the work it undertakes.